Assemble Sound is headquartered in an historic Church in front of the iconic Michigan Central Station in Roosevelt Park in Detroit, MI. The building was originally constructed in 1871 as “St. Paul’s” by a German Protestant congregation that some suspect had been meeting since as early as 1840. The Sanctuary, its adjoined Rectory, and its adjacent Pastor’s Residence were left untouched when the City razed almost all of the surrounding neighborhood to create Roosevelt Park after the construction and opening of Michigan Central Station in 1913. During the station’s busiest years leading up to WWII, the church would have been the first thing passengers saw after arriving in Detroit in hopes of finding work in the city’s booming auto industry. In the 1950’s the Church was sold to the House of Israel, who operated the religious campus until selling to La Iglesia to Jesus Christo in the early 1980s. The Hispanic congregation convened in the building until they sold it to Grace-to-Grace Lutheran Church in 1999. Grace-to-Grace operated out of the building regularly until 2010, when they began to convene less and less frequently. In March of 2015, Grace-to-Grace recognized our vision for the historic property, and blessed us with the opportunity to purchase it.
There is no doubt that over the last nearly 150 years a diversity of people and beliefs have convened within the walls of this Church. We enter this historical narrative, and do so recognizing that we too convene people around a shared belief– A belief that collaboration and cooperation can be a foundation of creative and economic success for musicians and the local ecosystem they represent. We don’t necessarily know if this belief is true, but we’re going to pretend it is, enact it, and see what happens.
During the 1980s, a second story was built across the 360 degree balcony that circumscribed the sanctuary of the church, covering the vaulted ceiling, original woodwork, and a 1909 Estey Pipe Organ. As we build the Assemble Sound initiative, so too are we improving the Church; slowly but surely working to restore it to its original grandeur. We, much like our home, are a constant work in progress. Watch us work. Help us build.